NDA government constructed 73% more highways compared to UPA’s last 4 years

The Narendra Modi government has built around 73% more national highways in its first four years till 2017-18 compared with the last four years’ in office of the previous UPA dispensation beginning 2010-11.

The government’s work order for highway expansion has shot up by 122% during the first three years of Modi government and the pace of construction has gone up by 25%, according to data released by the road transport and highways ministry.

  1. National Highway construction hits record 28km a day in 2017-18.
  2. Pace of construction has gone up by 25%.
  3. The MoRTH is set out to achieve a target of 45 km per day.

The implementation of the construction projects is done through the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) route. Under EPC, the government invites bids from companies which have expertise in engineering and construction. Once a successful bid has been placed, the government hands over the contract to the company and provides 100% funding. The company is then accountable for every single aspect of the project, viz. procuring materials, labor, implementation, maintenance, etc.

During 2011-2014, daily highway construction was about 13 Km in comparison to 17 Km during the three years’ of Modi government.

So far, the present government has constructed a total of 28,531 km national highways since FY 2014-15, contrasting with 16,505 km by the previous government up to FY 2013-14, a clear gain of an astounding 12,026 kms, the Financial Express reported.

While the NDA government’s construction averaged at 19.5 km a day since 2014-15, the UPA’s average was 11.27 km from 2010-11 to 2013-14. When the Narendra Modi government took over in May 2014, the construction rate stood at 11.67 km per day. Under the new regime, it grew to 12 km per day in 2014-15, 16.6 km per day in 2015-16, touching a record 22.5 km per day in 2016-17 and even better at 26.9 km in 2017-18.

One of the priority areas, the highway construction, under the present dispensation, grew over the years to touch its highest in 2017-18 at 9,829 km followed by 8,231 km in 2016-17. The government had built 6,061 km national highways in 2015-16 and 4,410 km in 2014-15. On the other hand, in 2010-11, a total 4,500 km highways was constructed, 2,013 km in 2011-12, 5,732 km in 2012-13 and 4,260 km in 2013-14.

“The increased pace of award during the last financial year which ended on Saturday and ongoing projects will help us achieve the target of constructing 40 km per day in 2018-19. The average award of contracts was about 45 km per day. All the works that have been awarded will start in the next six months,” said a highways ministry official.

Apart from this, the Modi government has taken several steps to address the problems coming in the way of highway development. It has eased the exit policy for developers to enable them invest in new projects, expedited land acquisition, introduced one-time fund infusion scheme in languishing projects and others.

Similarly, shipping ministry data show high increase in capacity of 12 major ports under government from 745 million tonnes in 2012-13 to 1,065 million tonnes in 2016-17.

Highway development is considered one of the biggest job generators and increased road connectivity has been recognised as a major contributor to economic activities even in the hinterlands.

The NDA government had announced to revive the highway sector which had been the focus of the Vajpayee government that came up with the Golden Quadrilateral project.